MNR NEWS - Know The Rules Before Bear Hunting in Ontario

Released on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resouces.

Know The Rules Before Bear Hunting In Ontario

NEWS August 13, 2012

The Ministry of Natural Resources will be conducting heightened enforcement activity in the northwest region with the opening of bear season on August 15. 

Conservation officers will place special attention on rules dealing with licences and permits, hunter safety and not allowing meat from harvested bears go to waste.

To ensure a safe and lawful hunt, hunters are reminded of the following rules:

  • All hunters must have a hunting version Outdoors Card prior to purchasing any hunting licences or tags. 
  • All licensed hunters who participate in hunting during the bear season are required to wear hunter orange except while in a tree stand. If hunting when there is a concurrent gun season for moose deer or elk, all hunters must wear hunter orange, with exceptions for migratory bird hunters.
  • Hunters should ensure that they handle firearms, including bows, in a safe and responsible manner and that they hunt only between the hours of a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
  • All hunters must ensure that any meat suitable for human consumption is not left to spoil or simply abandoned. During hot weather, this may mean having to get the harvested animal processed quickly.

In addition to the rules above, non-residents should note the following:

  • Non-residents who come to Ontario to hunt black bear must have a licence to hunt black bear and a non-resident Black Bear Hunting Licence Validation Certificate, commonly known as a Form 33, to validate their non-resident licence. This is obtained from an outfitter who offers black bear hunting services to non-residents or, in cases where the requirement to use a licensed outfitter is not applicable, must be obtained at a ministry office in the area of the hunt.
  • All non-resident hunters, with the exception of non-resident property owners and those hunting with an immediate relative who is an Ontario resident and is licensed to hunt black bear, must use the services of an outfitter and may only hunt in the Bear Management Area assigned to the outfitter or on private property that the outfitter has permission to hunt on, located either in the Bear Management Area or in the Wildlife Management Unit designated on the outfitter’s licence
  • Non-residents must be 16 years of age or older to be issued an Ontario hunting licence even if they can obtain one at an earlier age in their home state or province.
  • Non-resident hunters who harvest a bear cannot export their trophy out of Ontario without an export permit. In some cases, a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) permit may also be required. Export permits are available at Service Ontario centers as well as some outside licence issuers.

For more information on hunting regulations, please consult the 2012 Hunting Regulations Summary available at Service Ontario, Government Information Centres, licence issuers and

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.  You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). 

Kevin Elliott, Northwest Region, 807-274-5337
Disponible en français

Michelle Nowak, Regional Communication & Marketing Specialist | Regional Operations Division - Northwest Region | Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources | 221A - 435 James St. S., Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7B 6S8 | ph: 807-475-1116 | fax: 807-473-3023 | |


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